The LA Times called CBS’s choice of Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman, “Not a Conservative Choice.”
Really? Come on. I love Colbert, but casting another white male comic in the coveted Late Night hosting spot is as radical as choosing vanilla at 31 Flavors.
was one of the few female comics touring clubs in the 80’s. In 1986, I
was doing my first comedy special for Showtime. This was a big deal
because it was produced by Paramount. It was four comics, and I was the
only woman on the show. I was backstage listening to Howie Mandel
introduce me: “And our next guest is uh, ah, is a woman, she’s a
woman! And I know that cause I’ve seen her (two things that start with
T) …. They’re real! Here is Judy Carter…”
Yes, I was being
introduced as if my gender was a gross abnormality. Stomach churning, I
summoned my courage and decided not to respond, certain that the
producers would cut out the offending introduction. But, they didn’t,
as you can see here: http://youtu.be/o2lPBKyiWrs (Please don’t judge the big hair).
much has changed since the 1980’s. We have an African-American
president, female CEOs, and gay people can get married. And, on late
night TV, we have… wait for it… wait for it… all white guys with ties!
Have the career opportunities for funny females not improved in 30
years? My friends are surprised that I’m surprised. They refer to a
comment by Eddie Brill, former talent booker for Letterman, who
explained to the NY Times why he booked more male comics than female
comics. He said, “There are a lot less female comics who are
authentic. I see a lot of female comics who, to please an audience,
will ACT LIKE MEN.”
This statement is confusing, as it seems that Mr. Brill LIKES male comics. Wouldn’t “acting like a man” be an advantage
for a female comic? Unless, of course, funny females are being judged,
not solely on their comedy talent, but on their f-ability.
Every time a comedy with women hits the big screen, such as, “Bridesmaids,” or “The Heat,” I get a call from the media asking me the same question: “Are women funny?”
I’ll tell you what ISN’T funny – that tired old question.
Stephen Colbert is EXTREMELY talented. So are Ellen DeGeneres, Chelsea
Handler, Aisha Tyler, and many, many others. Guess what? You don’t
need to go to the bathroom standing up to be funny.
But… on the
positive side, (hey, I’m a motivational speaker now, I have to look on
the positive side), when a door is slammed in our faces, a window
opens. That window of opportunity is the millions of people who LOVE
female comedy. And that’s why I, along with other funny women such as
Jeanne Robertson, Amanda Gore, Loretta LaRoche, and others, get paid
well to perform for audiences of over 2500 people. Maybe it’s because
audiences CAN’T see us on TV that they download our videos on YouTube,
and come to see us live.
The good news is: capitalism trumps discrimination.